A reported 70 targets destroyed, Turkey claiming military advance as means to combat Islamic State; Syrian rebels assisting Turkish forces; Kurdish PYD demands Turkey withdrawal immediately
Turkey invaded Syria on Wednesday morning, claiming its military operation is to fight the Islamic State.
Syria rebels have joined Turkey in the military invasion and are assisting Turkish forces in operation combatting ISIS and the Kurdish PYD. The operation is being referred to as the “Euphrates Shield”.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim confirmed the operation began in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Turkish military deploying tanks and warplanes targeting Islamic State targets and Syrian Kurdish forces in the border town of Jarablus, a reported 70 targets destroyed by artillery and rocket strikes.
Turkish President Erdogan addressed the military operation, stating “The attacks that targeted our country from Syria have come to such a level that leaves us no choice but to solve this problem immediately and the process for this started today,” stating that “If the world does not reach an agreement against on terrorism then everyone is responsible for the consequences… a unified fight is a must. Daesh [Islamic State] has nothing to do with Islam. On the contrary, it is the biggest trouble for Islam in this century.”
The Kurdish Democratic Union Party has demanded Turkey’s immediate withdrawal from Syria, stating on Wednesday morning “Turkey is trying to turn its indirect occupation of Syria into a direct one. We demand that Turkey immediately withdraws from the territory of Syria, stops supporting terrorist groups in Syria, otherwise we will force them out of our territory.”
Escalation on the border between Syria and Turkey began on Monday when the Turkish military began shelling Islamic State positions in northern Syria not far from Jarablus.